Ep.63: Talia Zoref and her journey to working with Vogue, ELLE, Glamour, HM, Gucci and Moschino

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Nov 30, 2017 •  Interviews

With a great passion for fashion, Talia Zoref creates art for big brands like Vogue, ELLE, Cosmo, Glamour, HM, Gucci, MAC or Moschino. Inspired by the fashion world, she illustrates all the latest runway looks from the fashion weeks, new collections and the magical environment in this industry.

Talia seamlessly combined Fashion Design and Graphic Design studies into a creative profession. This way she brings the wonderful connection between art and fashion in the popular sector. Her illustrations are frequently shared by the creatives and brands in the industry including legends like Donatella Versace, Valentino, and Moschino. You can find her latest pieces on her Instagram account.

Get in touch with Talia

Key Takeaways

“Follow your dreams, you can always do what you love. It’s not about who you know. I came from a place where I didn’t know anyone and I just did it myself. If you need to know somebody, just reach out, with the help of the internet you can reach out to anyone … “

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Talia for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Talia Zoref, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles

Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where it’s all about how you can turn your creative passion into a profession. My name is Iva and my guest today is an international fashion illustrator graphic designer in journalists from Tel Aviv, Israel. She seamlessly combined fashion design and graphic design studies into creative profession bringing the wonderful world of art and illustration with a great patient for facial she created art for big brands like Vogue, elle, Cosmo, glam war agent, Gucci make or machina. Her website facial scissors net series is efficient illustration online magazine, where she illustrates all the ladies runway looks from Fashion Week’s retail and new collections from all around the world. Her illustrations are frequently shared by creatives and brands in the industry, including legends like Donatella, Versace, Valentino, and more Sheena, you can find her latest species on her Instagram account. So please welcome dahlias, RF, and let’s get to the interview. Welcome everyone to the next episode of Art Side of Life. And I’m super happy to have Talia here. Hi.

Talia Zoref

Hi, how are you? Hi. Good, good. So

Iva Mikles

I’m super excited. And so let’s talk about your background and how you go to art and illustration if you can take us through that story.

Talia Zoref

Yeah, for sure. So I was born in Toronto, and I just, you know, remember myself always really loving arts and crafts and fashion. And I actually thought I want to be fashion designer for a long time. And then I grew up partially in Israel, partially in Toronto, because my whole mom’s side is from Toronto, but, um, you know, it was really a nice combination, because Israel is really hot. And you know, Tel Aviv and the beaches, and it’s so fun and Toronto, you know, it’s cold and like snowy. And afterwards, I started college and studied fashion design in Toronto. And I understood actually, that what I really love is the illustration side. And not the and not to the design part. Because I felt I want to be creative, but I didn’t have patience, you know, to sit like and so address for for a whole year, I really liked thinking of new ideas. I really liked illustrating them. But that’s it. I just loved creating a lot of things, a lot of just beautiful things. And I decided to go back to Tel Aviv to study actioncam. And I shouldn’t go to college is a really big fashion college in Israel LBL bars from Lavon. The team was in London to a lot not long ago. He studied there, by the way. And then it’s it’s considered a very big college here. So I went there and I studied graphic design. And then I started working in the field of graphic design with an emphasize of illustration in the fashion industry.

Iva Mikles

And so what was maybe the discussion with the head with your parents or your friends when you said, Okay, I want to take art seriously. Oh, okay.

Talia Zoref

Um, I feel it was never a problem because my parents always told me get an education in something you love. The most important thing for them was for me to get an education so they didn’t really care what field it was in. And I really loved my whole childhood, like fashion and art was something that everyone everybody knew about. I was always into it. I was a blogger since I was 15 years old. And I was also also a journalist in some magazines at some point. And I still contribute with my illustrations for many magazines. So it’s something everybody knew I’m not going to be even though like I could have but I didn’t really what I really connected to was just the art you know,

Iva Mikles

did you have some mentor or someone who inspired you to combine illustration and fashion?

Talia Zoref

Definitely First of all, I have a really good friend. Her name is Danielle metta. And she taught me fashion illustration for the first time, I think when I was 17, just preparing my, you know, college application. And she’s from Toronto. And she’s just awesome. And she really showed me that you could actually make a living of illustrations and fashion. And from her I got this like, prime primer, yes, I guess. Spark with the whole field of fashion illustration in and illustration together. Yeah. And then afterwards, I started to follow people like on Instagram, like Megan Hess. I don’t know, there’s all these illustrators now out there, just sharing their art. And it was just so inspiring, also, genuinely where’d in Davie, downtown?

Iva Mikles

And what was maybe the best advice you ever received when you were like starting your career?

Talia Zoref

The best advice? Well, first of all, I’ve been told to be consistent. And to really believe in my dreams, to work hard, I think, to practice a lot, and work hard is a really good piece of advice. Also, to not be afraid to ask what you deserve. Because I know in the fashion industry, there’s a lot of people trying to take advantage of you, no matter what field really, also in creative industries, I feel young, they see a young person trying to succeed, and they try to take advantage of that. So yeah.

Iva Mikles

So how did you learn to kind of price yourself the best way or, you know, like the, the level of what you should ask and? Or maybe you I guess you grew from, like certain level to higher level or how did that work?

Talia Zoref

Yes, I think I also grew like, the more experience I got, the more I had the confidence to do that. And also, I think, at a certain point, I, I took a step back just to like overlook my resume, overlook all the things I’ve done. And think kind of try and think from a perspective that is more, I would say, just like objective about the whole thing, and not to, you really need to take a step back when someone asks you like, how much do you charge? You shouldn’t answer them why right away, you should think about it. First. Don’t let people like stress you and stuff

Iva Mikles

when you were like starting out, because that’s what also a lot of new artists struggling with kind of maybe what is the starting price of your art? And do you ask your friends what you should charge? Or do you do research online? Or how would you find out your first starting fries?

Talia Zoref

Oh, um, I think first of all, I searched a lot online. Today, it’s something like I don’t also personally, I don’t know, many illustrators. I tried to ask, you know, around people, I know I did my research online, you just need to do a lot of research, I feel. And in the end of the story, when it comes to illustration, take how much you think you deserve? Because it’s your art. And it’s not something that I say, would be exactly measured by price. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And also how you bring value to the customer, basically. Yeah, so yeah, and maybe if you can mention, like the worst advice as well, did you have something like that?

Talia Zoref

Wow, I didn’t have something so extreme. But I do get a lot of advice. I don’t know. thinking, well, maybe we can go back to it. Because I can come up with something.

Iva Mikles

Because it’s more like, Is there something you wish you knew before you started, you know, something like you change opinion about or, like, you know, sometimes people are saying like, Oh, you cannot leave from art and these kinds of things. Yeah,

Talia Zoref

that’s that’s the worst advice. Like, all these people were telling me, No, you don’t have like any future in the art industry. And like, you should just go and do something practical. And then like, you know, I would go and supposedly do a business core says something practical, but in the end, it’s like business is something that would be good for my career. But I don’t think it’s something that like, you shouldn’t just go study something practical and work at the nine to five job because it’s something that would really waste your life instead of like, I understand that you do need to make a living and everything. But you can try and do it out of something you really love. Yeah. in fine art, you know exactly not just to go on the safe side, sometimes they just like to dive in. And also another not so good piece of advice I got is to go and just waste all your money on like building websites and building. I don’t know, you’re like, creating a huge manufacturing of like, people were coming to tell me like, Oh, you shouldn’t go and like, make 100 notebooks and try and sell them with your illustrations. And then I would go like, if I didn’t do it in end, thank goodness. But you shouldn’t start big, you should start small and see how your business goes and not invest too much financially and just try and like get all the resources you have. Try and like, find the connections you have and see how you can collaborate. If you need office space, try and learn it from a friend if you need a good crazy laptop. Also, you should not go and just buy it you need to think every step for like every step forward really carefully.

Iva Mikles

And when you mentioned as well like the the friends and networking, so how do you do your networking? Or how do you get noticed?

Talia Zoref

Wow, um, first of all, I think I get noticed also online, but not only, always, when I’m I’m usually just going to launches and stuff because I used to be a journalist. And I’m also I have a strong social media presence and blog. So I go to all these events in fashion, and I just use it to network with people from the fashion industry. My best advice is not to be shy. If you have an idea, like, of course, like, make sure to protect your rights, but you can always share it be nice to people, the best advice is just to be nice, and help people and then they’ll help you back when you need something, you know.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And so do you think like from your blog, and writing before that kind of help you as well, to be able to at first Have you the fashion shows and kind of things?

Talia Zoref

Yeah, I think you definitely need to use your connections and your talent. And like, I think everything together is just the way to succeed you can do, you can be very talented, like the most talented person in the world. But then if you don’t have the right communication skills, or the right business skills that are right work ethic, and you need to work really hard to succeed. So you won’t because you need to do everything together. It’s all like a piece of the puzzle. Like, like I said before, like studying in business was essential for me. Like I didn’t I just did of course, yeah. But I think it’s helped me just develop it in my art perspective business, you know, definitely. So you need to have a lot of different aspects, from communications from business, from advertisements, social media. Also, like the quality of your product, eventually your art.

Iva Mikles

And so if you think about your creations and your branding, how would you describe your branding or division? You are always trying to communicate through your work.

Talia Zoref

Sorry, my branding. Oh, like, how I’m trying to brand myself? I mean, okay, um, well, first of all, I would say that my illustrations are in the fashion industry, my audience is in a very focused group of the fashion, I’m more high up luxury brands in the street. So that’s where I aim to go. So that’s why the parties I go to are usually parties from that specific niche. I don’t collaborate with certain products I don’t believe in I really tried to keep my branding, very focused on the fashion and beauty high end part. So if I would say how I put it in my own social media and in my art Well, first of all, I’m trying to bring my art into a more colorful perspective in a higher part of fashion. So I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely classic. It has a bit of a spark to it. You know, a bit of more life, I would say than just the regular luxury box you would have in your mind. So I can’t say it’s exact Okay, so I would say, I just use, like, minimal. In my branding. It’s very minimal. The fonts are minimal. and my website is very clean and white. And my page just shows, you know, the events I go to, alongside my illustrations. And I also make sure like for my branding, what I did recently had this idea to take fashion icons and models and to illustrate them and to give them my illustrations like Gigi Hadid and I gave it also to Grace Coddington from she was in vogue, US and Sarah some bios, so they’re all high end models. Which kind of fits into my image as a luxury illustration.

Iva Mikles

And you did these illustrations on the on the fashion shows when you met them? Or did you know them before?

Talia Zoref

No, I met them backstage. Actually, I met them a few times. And just before I didn’t think of doing that. So I just I had an idea. And I met like I don’t know them very well, obviously. But just when I met them, I gave them the illustration. And it turned out to be something really cool. And something that really works for me and my branding.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, it’s a really good idea. Thank you. And so when you are like getting inspiration, obviously like lots of fashion stuff, and what is maybe your biggest inspiration if it is like a color or brand or maybe if you have something strange you which inspires you.

Talia Zoref

Um, I really get inspired from the different places I travel from architecture. I feel like though when I go to a certain place, so my illustration kind of gets the vibe and the colors. But what I am inspired by usually is trying to take a soft look and turn it a bit more edgy, full of life, a lot of colors. I really love using watercolors and strong colors. I don’t like using soft pastels, I will use always like the full tone of the color.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And do you have like a favorite tools or mediums as you say the like watercolors and maybe something you use? Yeah, I

Talia Zoref

use watercolors all the time. But also I need to use a lot of Photoshop. And they illustrate with a Wacom tablet, and sometimes with my Microsoft Surface, which is a new illustration device, basically, that you illustrate on the screen of your computer, in Photoshop and whatever. Yeah, so I do like tablet illustration and more Photoshop. I do a lot of digital. But, you know, sometimes I just like going back to the basics with watercolor pencil and pen.

Iva Mikles

Do you have like your favorite brand of watercolor as well.

Talia Zoref

Um, well, recently, I discovered this really cool. Watercolor brand. It’s like watercolor sheets. It’s called V V. V Viva colors. It’s from India. And it was just this guy that he was studying medicine. And in class, like he realized in chemistry class that you can make like pigments from all kinds of different materials. And they dry really fast. So he created these color sheets too bad. I don’t have them here to show you. But it’s really really cool. So I use them for my travels. Because it’s actually just a small notebook with watercolors and sign. And they last like forever and then you use your you know, you have like this pen. Like it’s like a watercolor pen, like feel water inside it. So you just you can illustrate, like, wherever you are with a small notebook of like watercolor sheets, and it’s awesome. I take it everywhere.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, that’s perfect. Yeah, I’d have to try that

Talia Zoref

and send you the link afterwards.

Iva Mikles

Perfect. And we can put it in the show notes so people can check it out afterwards. And what about the notebook Do you have like also favorite notebook we use because for watercolor sometimes the paper needs to be like good

Talia Zoref

Well, depends if I tried to illustrate once I got this advice from my friend Danielle by the way, that’s to always use it’s better to have a lousy illustration on like a good sheet of paper and and have a good illustration on bad like I’m not so quality full pay apart. But recently, I just use a simple paper because I illustrate a lot of people and just give it as gifts to them during fashion week. Just I own inspiration. And it’s like fast and fun. But I do like to use the Aqua Well, paper when I work at home and on customers, like on illustration project for customers, I won’t use like a simple piece of paper I need to use like a thicker one.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And is there also like a specific brands of the paper you use?

Talia Zoref

Um, no, not something specific. I just because sometimes I need to find good papers. So I just go to art stores all over the world. So I can’t really be loyal to one paper brand.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And what about like, the project you’re working on now? Because you’ve been just to Paris, right? And maybe well, that new exciting projects which are coming up?

Talia Zoref

Yes, I do. Sadly, most of them I can talk about here. I would love to, though, I can say that I am going again, to Paris in Milan. And I’m going to have a few cool projects there. And besides that, I am working on a really cool project with a shoe company. That’s going to be awesome with sneakers. And I’m really looking forward to that one. And another project with an online fashion company. And my own illustrated t shirt capsule collection for another online website. So that’s going to be awesome. And I just have this really exciting project with Chanel, if you saw it. So that was really fun that I did the illustration of the new perfume bottle of the Gabrielle Chanel. So I actually needed to attend their events now in Paris, and I covered it as well. And it was really just amazing.

Iva Mikles

It sounds really fun. If you can mention also maybe some projects from the past, which were maybe the most memorable for you.

Talia Zoref

Oh, well, I had quite a bit. So it’s hard to think of just one bad mission more. Well, depends which kind. I mean, I just did a really cool project now with Michael Kors that I needed to illustrate on like seven, eight leather notebooks of Michael Kors. And that was just awesome. And it came on just beautiful.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. They were so nice.

Talia Zoref

Thank you. And also I did another project with how it’s called with MAC cosmetics that they ordered for me in a really short notice like 50 Illustrations Syrah Lambertus project as a really intense one, working only like one week and creating 50 illustrations. So that was really fun. And I did not long ago another project with American Vintage if you’ve ever heard of it, which is a really nice clothing brand. And they asked me to do for their launch 50 illustrations on iPhone cases, which was also really cool.

Iva Mikles

Yes. And so when you are working with brands like this, do they ask you to create stuff like traditionally or digitally or you kind of present the idea or how does this process work? Yeah,

Talia Zoref

exactly. So I have all kinds of different products, I guess like every business would have. So my products are my illustrations. So some illustrations, I have our digital, some illustrations I can provide are more like watercolor. Like it’s really depends what the client wants, you know, when you work with commercial clients. That’s an important part to have. There are some illustrations, illustrators, sorry that are more loyal to one specific technique, but I have to just reinvent myself all the time to stay relevant.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And then you discuss that before you start the project, right?

Talia Zoref

Yeah, for example. Now with Chanel, I did an actual gift with them a digital gift with their perfume, changing colors. But for example for Michael Kors. I illustrated on leather with special colors for leather. Okay, and

Iva Mikles

how do you find these like colors maybe for later did you know that already or someone that kind of again, advice Do

Talia Zoref

I always need to search because I always get different requests from clients like to illustrate on glass to illustrate on leather to illustrate on like 100 on iPhone cases, right? So it’s like plastic, I would say. So I always go to like a different art store searching for new materials searching for new colors.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. Do you have also maybe like online art stores you go to or you physically?

Talia Zoref

Actually I do. I never tried that. Which is too bad. Only Viva I get like online, because we buy something that’s not available at the stores right now. So they are just selling it online. And it’s awesome.

Iva Mikles

Okay, yeah. Because some people don’t have such a like chances you to travel and go to like different art stores, you know. So that’s why I’m wondering like, if there’s something maybe they

Talia Zoref

know, but I work here in Israel, if one specific supplier that’s called our TA. So they basically I’m one of their artists, ambassadors, so they provide me with everything I need, basically. So that’s how I work here. But sometimes, you know, you need to go for specific materials, you can definitely I’m sure find them online. I don’t really know when website Exactly. But I know that everything’s available today online. And when I get special requests, I would just rather go test it myself at the store. Because my clients are really picky. So I’d rather not just get something cheap online and buy something like with, like, a quality product. I’d rather test it at the store. Yeah,

Iva Mikles

I mean, that’s really because these are things

Talia Zoref

that are just important, for example, like for illustrating on shoes for customers, that I have a project like that coming up soon. So I need to go to the store and like actually check that it stays Jacqueline like and test for, like, I mean, when I get like special requests like that, I need to test it and stuff like that. But sometimes it’s also good to work with prints. I just like doing how it’s called. I like doing natural little illustration, like handmade illustrations sometimes too. It depends also what the client wants.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. Because now I’m thinking, as you mentioned shoes, because shoes are sometimes with the different materials, right? And so, where do you get the shoes? Or do they give you the shoes to try the paint? Or do you try on your shoes? Or how does it

Talia Zoref

work? Um, you mean like, you

Iva Mikles

know, because he says you try out pains? You know if it actually stays. So you go to check the pains and what do you try it on?

Talia Zoref

Oh, I take the shoes with me.

Iva Mikles

But this is like your shoes are already like the clear. No, it’s

Talia Zoref

from my customers. Yeah. Okay,

Iva Mikles

so. So they give you their like simple shoes to just

Talia Zoref

test. Yeah. Okay. Also, the notebooks I need. I always ask for special tests. Because the quality is very important to me. Like, when you actually work for a client with illustration, like sometimes for myself, I care less. But when I do it for our client, like the most important thing, because you can have like the most beautiful illustration. But if it’s like it doesn’t hold and it comes off, and it doesn’t last long. So like what did the client pay for? Right?

Iva Mikles

Exactly. And, and so now when you have so many different projects, and of course you cannot do everything at the same time? How do you kind of decide what to say yes and no to?

Talia Zoref

There’s two factors. The first factor is how much do I want this project? How much does this customer going to help me in the rest of my, you know, journey as an illustrator? is good for my resume? Do I need it on my resume? And the second one is obviously financial. So if it pays off financially, but it has to be something obviously you believe in, because otherwise, I don’t think a person should do it. Like, if you don’t believe in the projects you do so you want to do something you actually love, right? It’s not all that factor. So you need basically a balance between both of you, both of them, you need the customer also to respect you and what you want. You’re like what your services are worth your time. How much time is it going to take? There’s a lot of different factors.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And so how do you now combine your income streams or do you have mainly from a client work or selling art prints? Or how does this like your business?

Talia Zoref

So right now, I have like projects that I sell illustrations and collections in different stores. But basically, it’s more client work my like my work right now. Because I find it easier to manage. I would say like, I am thinking about opening, maybe a store, but right now I’m not at that stage yet. I am just like doing a lot of fashion clients and anything else that is in front of me. Okay. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

So perfect, because then sometimes, you know, people like to combine different things like, you know, selling art prints online then doing these like that. So yeah,

Talia Zoref

I think that art selling online, I’m kind of sad. I didn’t start it before, because it became really competitive lately. So basically, what I’m basing my work on is just doing live illustration, live illustrations, events, and doing, of course, custom illustrations for different clients. Yeah. And so it’s more for like companies. I don’t really do a lot of private client work. Yeah. Because I find companies more reliable sometimes.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, that makes sense. Because they have the certain like, vision and branding. And they know what they want.

Talia Zoref

Right? Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And so how do you design your day or a week? Because you work on different projects? So is there something you also do daily, which contributes to your success?

Talia Zoref

Well, first of all, I have a lot of different projects. So I just try, like every time I have a different client project to work on during the week, and besides that, I do a lot of, you know, like I said, I do illustrations for magazines, like Cosmo, and Vogue and stuff like that. So I work on just whatever tasks I have. If it’s the client depends, like you know what I need to do first and make myself a list. It’s always so dynamic. I also go to many different events. So I feel like every day is kind of different. Some days, I just like to relax and work at home. Sometimes I just go like to work from a coffee shop. Yeah, sometimes I rent studio space. It really depends.

Iva Mikles

Okay, yeah. Because this one I was wondering as well, if you have a few at home, or do you go like co working space or something like,

Talia Zoref

Well, for now, I have just my studio at home, but sometimes when on certain projects, I rent like spaces to work in. It really just depends. I don’t have a permanent office or something like that. Also, I feel it’s just nice to to work, you know, in your natural space sitting in the garden sitting outside. I love just you know, sitting outside in, you know, my garden and just to work and I love air. Yeah, I

Iva Mikles

hear the birds and I’m jealous that I don’t have them here as well.

Talia Zoref

I should like definitely show you afterwards. The garden you so nice. Yeah, I like a lot of like outside space. That’s what that’s why also I like to go work sometimes from coffee shops and stuff. I feel that an office is very like, closed environment. And also it gives you so much more inspiration just to work from outside.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And you traveled a lot as well. So yeah. And so when you’re planning like a month, for example, can you plan already the trip like, oh, I will go for this fashion show, then I can work on this project. And so you kind of schedule it in advance, I guess.

Talia Zoref

Well, yeah. So of course you have to schedule it in advance. But so yeah, so I just I don’t go just for a trip, I just need to schedule everything ahead of time, regarding with different designers with different shows, with different brands with different projects. So yeah, it’s all like a big thing before.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, definitely. So and can you recommend maybe also some like a book or documentary or movie you like something related to either your work or something you just love personally?

Talia Zoref

I’m thinking, well, there’s quite a bit. If it’s related to my work. Well, you mean just to learn the art of fashion illustration? Yeah. So I’d say I recommend there’s two books I recommend. The first one is why Wow. It’s called I think it’s just called fashion illustration by Bina Appling. It’s a really great book that teaches like fashion illustration A to Zed a Another one is, wait a minute, okay. I was just checking if someone’s at the door. The other one is Danielle metters book that she actually wrote a really great book about tablet illustration and drawing. And she drew like 20 seasons of Fashion Weeks. Her emphasizes runway specifically. So she kind of shows how to do it in a runway sector. And I think it’s a really good book. It’s called your fashion now

Iva Mikles

draw fashion now.

Talia Zoref

Yeah, by Danielle letter. And she was also my first fashion illustration teacher, so I really recommend it. And other books I would recommend would be Megan Hesse’s books, like you see, I’m very involved in the whole book fashion illustration thing, because I just, you know, it’s something that inspires me so much as well. So she has like a whole series of books that she just, for example, she has a book about Coco Chanel. I’m not sure how it’s called. I think it’s just like Coco or something by Megan Hess. So it shows like so many illustrations of Coco Chanel her life, and it’s a whole book of illustrations, showing her whole life process and her work process as well as becoming Coco Chanel, which is really interesting.

Iva Mikles

So how do you spell her surname?

Talia Zoref

Hesse? Yeah. H e. S. S. Okay,

Iva Mikles

so I just like a symbol. So if it is not like some silent, you know, letters, and then I couldn’t find it, give it and it’s so nice. So many books I have to check out. It’s perfect. And do you maybe have also a favorite quote?

Talia Zoref

A favorite quote? Whoa, I didn’t come ready for that. But basically, um, I don’t know nothing’s i My first favorite quote, I would say would definitely be I think it was by Van Gogh. I, well, how does it go? I dream about what I paint. And then I paint what I dream. I need to check. How would you want me to check it now? Or

Iva Mikles

and it’s fine, because I know when you mean I can Oh, yeah. Like, here. And I think you said it. Right.

Talia Zoref

Yeah. Okay, because I didn’t remember exactly, because I didn’t really read it for a while. But it was the first one I could feel I really connected because basically, my dream was to be an illustrator. So no. So I just wanted, I always dreamed about Dad, even though I don’t really paint the things I dream about. But just something symbolic about

Iva Mikles

it. Yeah. Because he’s like dreams, reality, reality, dreams.

Talia Zoref

And it all connects to art, eventually. So I feel gave me kind of the sense of how art is important for our dreams.

Iva Mikles
Yeah. And so also we didn’t talk about yet about kind of the worst career moment or the difficult time and what you learn from it, then the biggest takeaway?

Talia Zoref

Yeah, so I definitely have a moment like that. I think also, I got an A lot of nose during my way, I feel that you need to go and you need to propose your ideas to so many people before you start getting yeses before people start to recognize. Even though you can be really talented, you just need more practice. And you need to go really out there. I got so many nose on the way. You know, one of the recent bad career moments I had was me proposing an illustration job for a really big brand. And we already spoke about everything on the phone. Like they actually wrote back to me and I was really excited about it. And I was like, Wow, it’s really going to happen. It was one of the biggest projects that I was going to do. And then I I didn’t hear back from them. So I tried to call him like I gave them all my idea for the creative project. And I tried to call them back and there was no answer set inland. I didn’t understand what’s happened. And then they called me two weeks later, oh, we decided to take a different illustrator with my idea. And it wasn’t because of my style, it was just because they wanted a beginning illustrator with like a lower price. So eventually, my advice after I really learned from my mistake there is basically to make sure that you have a certain agreement before you give any of your ideas to your customers. Make sure that they can just use them and give them to whoever they want.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, yeah, that’s really good learning?

Talia Zoref

Yes. So you need to write everything down, you need to make sure that when you give an idea to a customer that it will remain between you and the customer. And that they can go just to another professional and work with them on your idea.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, just because of the price difference or something. Yeah.

Talia Zoref

Also, a lot of customers usually come to me for ideas, because I feel like a step in my career is not just about the illustrations, and the creativity of creating them that sometimes I need to think about the concept. So a lot of times,

Iva Mikles

yeah, so it’s not only about the actual creator, and

Talia Zoref

I guess they’re worth a lot. So I would say to all the creative people out there just to protect them.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, that’s really good advice. And let’s talk about the future. One of my last questions. And if you would imagine yourself five to 10 years and you cannot fail, and you’re doing exactly what you want. What is your dream scenario?

Talia Zoref

Wow, um, I would say just to have like, a whole big office on the beach. Just for, you know, my illustrations, and just to be able to do what I love, and travel to many beautiful places, and, you know, make a living out of what I love.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, that’s perfect. And my last question would be, what would you like to be remembered for in 100 years?

Talia Zoref

Wow. I don’t think I really thought of that, I would say I would want to make a change and make people really just appreciate art more, I feel that this is a really fast paced world. And people just tend to go, you know, from one distraction to the next. So if I could make any difference, because today, like you would talk to people and debt, it’s more of a celebrity age, like in the celebrities change all the time. So I wouldn’t want to be I would want to make people appreciate others more for their work like, like for art to bring art somehow back and make a change and kind of connect art and fashion again, more because fashion became really, retail, you know, and mass production for producing a mass producing industry late.

Iva Mikles

Oh, good, good. Yeah. Because then also, like, people are creating stuff. And it doesn’t have to be like, I don’t know, like release of a new How do you call it is not the fashion show or brand, but you have new collections, like so often. And like, going crazy.

Talia Zoref

Exactly. Sometimes it’s like not about the quality. It’s about the quantity. So I would just want somehow to take the spot and try and make people appreciate art again, as much as I do.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, perfect. And thank you so much. The you are here. It’s so cool. And before we say goodbye, maybe you can share like a last piece of guidance or advice.

Talia Zoref

I’m thinking about it. Well, I feel I give a lot of advice here. But I would tell like all the great of people watching me just to follow their dreams. And you can always do what you love. Like all these people come to me and say, Oh, no, it’s just about who you know, it’s not about your talent. And I came from a place that I didn’t know anyone literally before I started and I just drove this path on my own and got to know these people. And if you need to know a certain person, or just to like, don’t be afraid to like, reach out. And today with the internet, you can get to anyone, for example, like, without knowing anyone, Donatella Versace saw my illustration on Instagram and just you know, and shared it to her audience. And I was like thinking, wow, where else what other error that could happen, you know, that a person so big in the fashion industry could notice someone’s illustration or artwork. So today, you can basically do anything. And I think also the younger generation really gets out so they have such huge potential and yeah, so to follow your dreams. And that’s it.

Iva Mikles

Perfect. Thank you so much again, I mean, super perfect that you are here and taking your time from your busy schedule.

Talia Zoref

Thank you for interviewing me, for me. It’s a pleasure. So cool.

Iva Mikles

Thanks again and thank you everyone for joining and see you in the next episode. See ya. Hope you guys enjoy This interview, you can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you so go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can read and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Art Side of Life
podcast because I post new interview every single workday. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

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Thanks for listening to the Art Side of Life podcast at www.artsideoflife.com

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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